There wasn't a ton to like about Sunday's contest between the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Portland Timbers. The Whitecaps fell 4-2 to their Cascadian rival, with Pa Modou Kah playing a part in a pair of ill-timed penalties. The Whitecaps were able to get a few goals to keep their offensive progress moving, but the match was disappointing and frustrating to watch.
Kah had perhaps his worst match in a Whitecaps kit, with an inexplicable error just four minutes into the contest. On a relatively routine clear, Kah flubbed it and was forced to go into recovery mode. For him, that meant charging into Jack McInerney in the box and conceding a penalty.
David Ousted was unable to bail the Center Back out on the ensuing penalty kick, with Diego Valeri opening the scoring. An absolutely horrible start for the road club.
.@DiegoDv8 puts it in cooly! #RCTID #PORvVAN pic.twitter.com/s7SrSRgJUZ— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) May 22, 2016
The Whitecaps went with Ousted in net, and a backline comprised of Kah and Kendall Waston in the middle, with Jordan Harvey and Tim Parker on the outsides. Matias Laba took his spot in the defensive midfield, while Christian Bolanos, Cristian Techera Pedro Morales, and Kekuta Manneh made up the attacking mid. Erik Hurtado earned his second straight start at the top of the formation.
After the Whitecaps went down 1-0, the Timbers kept coming, carrying the play as the Whitecaps struggled to get their feet moving. They doubled their lead in the 29th minute, with McInerney moving past a stumbling Kendall Waston and beating Ousted.
.@JackMcInerney9 dances around the box and finishes!! #RCTID #PORvVAN pic.twitter.com/LcVYCU2ooT— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) May 22, 2016
Cristian Techera showed some life for the Whitecaps in the latter stages of the first half, although the Whitecaps would go into the break down by a pair.
42' Techera almost claws one back for 'Caps with a shot from the top of the box. #PORvVAN pic.twitter.com/6nKQ5Lsrvc— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) May 22, 2016
The Whitecaps got off to a great start in the second half, with Kekuta Manneh scoring in the 49th minute. It wasn't a beautiful goal; Manneh's shot deflected off a sliding defender and looped over the keeper's head, but it was exactly what the Whitecaps needed.
49' Manneh with the sweet placement and deflection that fools Gleeson. 'Caps back into this. #PORvVAN pic.twitter.com/3maXv9zu19— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) May 22, 2016
A few moments later, Ousted made a stop that I'm sure will be among the Save of the Week candidates.
WHAT. A. SAVE. Ousted keeps in at 2-1 for @TimbersFC #PORvVAN #TSN1 #TSN1040 #RivalryWeek pic.twitter.com/RQHNWzhMU0— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) May 22, 2016
The comeback was given a swift kick in the groin in the 77th minute, when Pa Modou Kah was called for a handball in the box. Sure, it sucked to see it happen, but it did give birth to this priceless Kah reaction.
Basically, Diego Valeri's shot deflected off Kendall Waston, and then onto the hand of Kah. Definitely a night to forget for the Center Back.
At the 82' mark, Darlington Nagbe made it 4-1 on a beautiful free kick, effectively putting the match out of reach.
Darlington. Nagbe. #RCTID #PORvVAN https://t.co/rB6k8wWRLq— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) May 22, 2016
Pedro Morales would claw one back with a penalty about two minutes later, but that was as close as the Whitecaps would come.
Pedro's PK. pic.twitter.com/IzXq5BamTE— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) May 22, 2016
In what was an exclamation point on a woeful night, Kendall Waston made a ridiculous tackle near the end of the match and was rightfully given a red card.
Just An ugly match for the Whitecaps, one that could have ended differently if not for a few bone headed plays. Hopefully they can put this one out of their minds quickly.